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Policy & a Pint – Thomas Goetz February 22, 2010

On Thursday, February 18, 2010 we attended our fourth Policy & a Pint session. In the past we attended sessions on Education, the Environment and Justice. This session was about Healthcare and our individual responsibility for our own health.

From The Current website:
“Policy and a Pint” is an ongoing series co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current and Citizens League. The series’ goal is to provide an informal setting for the public to come and discuss important policy issues with community leaders and thinkers.

Policy & a Pint is hosted either at the Varsity Theater or at the UBS Forum at The Current Studios. We prefer the setup at The Current Studios over The Varsity for a few reasons:
1. Free parking in St Paul (some meters stop being monitored at 4:30)
2. The “pint” is included at the UBS Forum (in fact, it’s 2 per person!)
3. The food is higher quality and greater quantity at the UBS Forum

The speaker was Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired magazine and author of The Decision Tree.
Thomas Goetz
Thomas is educated with a Masters in Public Health and has obviously reviewed a lot of studies as well as human behavior. He said that only 3% of Americans follow 4 basic health guidelines. THREE PERCENT. You’d think these guidelines were impossible, wouldn’t you? Here they are, you judge for yourself:
1. Maintain a healthy body weight
2. Get some exercise
3. Eat vegetables
4. Don’t smoke

He also said something like “every decision we make affects our health.” EVERY decision…what you eat, how long to sleep, how much TV to watch/video games to play, drinking & driving…all day, every day. Almost everything has an impact on your health. I bet that’s not something that most people think about.

Chris’s Review
Policy and a pint will always get you thinking. Nikki and I agree on a lot of major issues, but it is fun to discuss some issues more in depth after hearing a different take on an issue. The night started out with some great appetizers and a couple beers, and afterward we found ourselves talking all the way home. It was great to talk and connect on something that we normally wouldn’t talk about. Great date night for a couple if they find the topic interesting.

Best Part: Having time to really sit and talk with Nikki before and after the policy talk.

Worst Part: None, awesome night.


Nikki’s Review
I think I would attend almost any P&aP that is held at the UBS Forum because the food is so good! I have enjoyed all the speakers we’ve seen and recommend these events to people who like to think a little bit harder than normal every once in a while.

Best part of the night: Thinking about what my responsibility is for my health & how that will affect our lives together. Also, I loved the concept that EVERY decision we make throughout the day affects our health.

Worst part of the night: There were a couple questions that were awkward because it was someone looking for recognition rather than asking a question. For example: “I quit smoking 4 days ago, yep, it’s been 4 days since I had my last cigarette.” Good for you, buddy, get on with the questions!


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One Response to “Policy & a Pint – Thomas Goetz”

  1. UPDATE: Here is a video that was posted on the Decision Tree blog that gives an overview of the thoughts in the book & some very scary stats:

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